I would like to wish everyone on the old calendar a happy new year’s day! May the coming year be blessed.
The topic of today’s post, however, is not so cheerful. Yesterday, Auster commented on an Orthodox priest’s bizarre argument in favor of the Ground Zero mosque: “The liberal rot has even affected the Orthodox Church—here is an Orthodox priest who is pro-GZ mosque.” I wrote the following message to Auster:
As another Orthodox Christian who reads your site, let me say that Fr. Ernesto Obregon’s words are silly but not that surprising. If you read his site’s “about me” section, you see that he settled in this country as a Cuban refugee, abandoned the Roman Church, became a hippie, and then converted to Anglicanism. He later joined the Antiochian Archdiocese, which is an American outpost of the Church of Antioch. There are many decent things about the Antiochians and their energy, but the fellow Arab feeling of their hierarchs and centuries of dhimmitude have rendered them useless against the infidel assault.
In contrast, after the September 11th attacks, many Orthodox jurisdictions added the litany against the invasion of barbarians to the prayers sung at the divine liturgy. Do not think that the entire Orthodox world has become complacent with Mohammedan conquest.
Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that many bishops practice (excuse the slur) Byzantine diplomacy when it comes to the Ummah Wahida. You see this wherever bishops think that they can manipulate the infidels for their community’s (or their own) benefit. The practice is common wherever the Orthodox live among or near large numbers of Mohammedans.
You also see it in Moscow, when the Russian Patriarch emphasizes the “traditional religions” of the former Russian Empire as a pretext for uniting the multicultural homefront and near abroad against Western forces. However, the Russian bishops are strikingly lacking in dhimmi sensibilities when it comes to conflicts between Orthodox Christians and the Dar al-Islam. Consider how the Russians and other Slavs think about Bosnia, Kosovo, Armenia, Cyprus, or the Christian minorities in Mohammedan lands. The Christians who live in fear as dhimmis in those lands rarely speak out, and they have little reason to hope that the post-Christian West or the still weak and recovering post-Communist Christian East will hear their supplications. (The Copts come to mind as the exception.) If Christendom ever regains its faith and self-confidence, then maybe these persecuted Christians will begin to lose their defeated dhimmi mentality.
One of Auster’s commentators additionally mentioned the lamentable presence of Leftism in the Greek American community, but I did not address the motes in our Hellenic brethren’s eyes. I think that the Greek Question is too complicated to tackle when dealing with a subject rather tangential to it.
I do not understand the position of the Arabs, though. One would think that they would know better than anyone else in the world the true meaning of the “religion of peace.” They may cower in fear of retribution, they may allow blood tribalism to trump their religious identity, or perhaps they may suffer a dhimmi form of Stockholm Syndrome. I am not sure, but I find it revolting. Furthermore, it troubles me greatly that this peculiar dhimmi mentality tends to infect Western converts to the Antiochian Church, where Protestant Dispensationalists with Zionist fervor mysteriously transform into apologists for the Intifada. I believe that it is possible to give up Dispensationalism without thereby joining the ranks of Judenhassern, though men tend to follow the pendulum with their loyalties.